1. In football, when a team has a 2nd-and-1 situation, the color guy will state "This is a great passing situation," completely ignoring that since 2000, teams runs the ball 70% of the time in this situation. (click here to see for yourself for 2000-2012 seasons)
2. In basketball, you'll hear "You can't coach height"--yes you can, or else every 7-footer would have outlandish success in the NBA. They don't.
3. When the leadoff hitter in an inning gets on base, you'll hear "It's tough on a pitcher when that leadoff hitter gets on." With play-by-play data, that notion is easily measured, and this chart shows how that has worked out in the 2010-2012 seasons:
To explain, in 2010 there were 43,441 inning leadoff plate appearances (the number varies due to whether home teams bat in the bottom of the 9th or if a game went into extra innings). Of those, the leadoff hitter hit a single 6,814 times and eventually scored 2,556 times, or 37.5% of the times the leadoff hitter got on base with a single. As would be expected, hitting a double significantly increases those chances to 58.5%, hitting a triple to 83.3%. Walks and hit-by-pitch are similar to singles (as would be expected), and in total, the announcer is pretty darn close to being correct—when 40+% of inning leadoff hitters that get on base eventually score, it IS difficult on pitchers.
I was personally surprised by the triple number—this means that around 15-20% of leadoff triples DO NOT SCORE, which to me is an astounding number. This means that teams AT WORST had two sacrifice opportunities and weren’t able to capitalize. I looked at individual teams to see if any teams jumped out, and nothing really did—Arizona (19 of 29, 65.5%) and Tampa Bay (22 of 22, 100%) were the extremes, but every other team was pretty much in that 80-85% range.